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June 12, 2011
Victims of Attorney Theft Awarded Nearly $182,235 by Clients' Security Fund

The Board of Commissioners of the Clients’ Security Fund of Ohio (CSF) awarded $182,234.56 to 47 victims of attorney theft at its meeting Friday. Twenty-five former or suspended attorneys were found to have misappropriated client funds. Three deceased attorneys were also involved in claims presented to the board.

The CSF was created in 1985 by the Supreme Court of Ohio to reimburse victims of attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation. The CSF is not taxpayer funded, but funded entirely by registration fees paid by every Ohio attorney. Ohio has more than 37,000 attorneys engaged in the active practice of law. Less than one-tenth of 1 percent of those attorneys is involved in CSF claims.

Law clients who believe they have sustained financial losses resulting from attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation should contact the CSF at 614.387.9390 or toll-free in Ohio at 1.800.231.1680.

Learn more about the disciplinary cases against some of these attorneys via the Ohio Supreme Court’s online docket.

The board determined that former clients of two Adams County attorneys were eligible for reimbursement.

A former client of deceased Allen County attorney Robert B. Blackwell was reimbursed $1,300. Blackwell did not provide the services requested before his death on April 27, 2011, and did not refund the fee.

The board reimbursed $3,060 to a former client of deceased Clermont County attorney Sharon C. Baird. Before her death on June 2, 2008, Baird did not complete the services requested and did not refund the fee.

The Board determined that former clients of eight Cuyahoga County attorneys were eligible for reimbursement.

The board awarded reimbursement to former clients of three Franklin County attorneys.

Six former clients of former Gallia County attorney James R. Henry were reimbursed a total of $9,300 as a result of Henry’s failure to provide the services requested. Henry was permanently disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio on December 22, 2010.

The board awarded reimbursement to former clients of two former Hamilton County attorneys.

A former client of former Highland County attorney John W. Slagle was reimbursed $20,132.16 as a result of Slagle’s failure to account for client funds. Slagle resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending on February 25, 2009.

Former clients (a husband and wife) of suspended Huron County attorney Charles P. Derby were reimbursed $499 as a result of Derby’s failure to provide the services requested. Derby was suspended from the practice of law in Ohio on January 17.

A former client of suspended Lorain County attorney Karen K. Meade was reimbursed $3,100 as a result of Meade’s failure to provide the services requested. Meade’s license to practice of law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on December 22, 2010.

The board awarded reimbursement to former clients of two Mahoning County attorneys.

A former client of suspended Medina County attorney Eric D. Hall was reimbursed $2,500 as a result of Hall’s failure to provide the services requested. Hall’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended on March 1.

A former client of former Ross County attorney Rebecca E. Bobb was reimbursed $750 as a result of Bobb’s failure to provide the services requested. Bobb resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on September 24, 2010.

A former client of former Sandusky County attorney Andrew C. Lockshin was reimbursed $700 as a result of Lockshin’s failure to provide the services requested. Lockshin resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on November 24, 2010.

The board awarded reimbursement to former clients of two Summit County attorneys.

Contact: Janet Green Marbley, 614.387.9390 or Bret Crow, 614.387.9250.